New Prime Minister of Egypt Ibrahim Mehlab has put a ban on bottled water in government offices
New Prime Minister of Egypt Ibrahim Mehlab has put a ban on bottled water in government officesReuters

New Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehlab, as part of an austerity drive meant to cut government spending, has banned bottled water from state offices and has asked everyone to drink tap water instead.

A new Egyptian government was sworn in on Saturday, with popular army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi re-appointed as the now-sole deputy premier and defense minister.

Egypt's new PM Mehlab, who was earlier the housing minister, announced the ban as part of a list of plans that will be initiated by the new government for stabilizing the condition in Egypt.

Since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, instability has only worsened the economic condition prevalent in the country, and Egypt is suffering its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Prime Minister Mehleb, explaining the ban on bottled water, stated that the move was aimed to bring the government closer to the level of common Egyptians. "This step emanates from my keenness to cut spending and share the average people their lifestyle," Mehleb said, reported Al Arabiya. He stated he too will be only drinking tap water and said he was confident about the quality of the tap water in Egypt.

The swearing-in ceremony of the new cabinet, headed by Mehlab, was aired live on television channels across Egypt.

The new PM, in another of his measures to gain public trust, stated that he has cancelled the motorcade that follows a premier. "I'll move in one car only because I fear nobody but God. I have confidence in the Egyptian security and realize well the necessity of working to regain the Egyptian citizen's confidence," he said.

Government security detailing often causes more traffic jam and public inconvenience. However, it still remains to be seen how far the new PM will be able to follow through the new measures.